Biking for Carrots

The Husband and I went for a 12-mile bike ride yesterday, the longest I’ve ever been on, and I’m happy to report that I not only lived to tell about it, I don’t even hurt anywhere today.

I think a lot of that has to do with the helpful hint passed along by Older Son last week, who encouraged me to try riding in 3rd gear instead of 2nd all the time. It really did seem to speed things up.

We also stopped a lot…to look at the river, to look at flowers, to let the other person catch up.

We rode west from our neighborhood, following the Oak Leaf Trail through Hoyt Park to the Underwood Parkway. At one point the Underwood section dips first below the freeway, then underneath Mayfair Road, where I attempted to take a photo of The Husband. {darn shutter lag…he was in sunlight when I pressed the button, I swear.}

The trail then winds through a residential area where a couple of friends live. We would have dropped in on them except we would have had to ride up a very long hill to get there.

“If they really loved us, they’d move,” The Husband said.

There’s a lot of flood-control construction along the route, including this tunnel that it took all winter to bore through a big hill.

The wetlands that are part of the project look almost finished; in another year this area east of Mayfair Road should look like it’s always been here.

I saw lots of my favorite flower…

and we discovered the Deer Creek Trail in Brookfield. Deer Creek itself is lined with concrete, but maybe that will change in a few years.

A lot of the flood-control work being accomplished in the metropolitan area involves removing the concrete both to slow down the rush of water after a heavy rain and to restore the natural ecology of the area.

While we didn’t see any actual deer along the Deer Creek trail, on the way home we saw two! This one graciously posed for several minutes near Potter Road.

We saw another deer browsing on Native Prairie Perennials across the road from the golf course clubhouse, where we stopped to eat our lunch at a picnic table in the shade. Deer #2 was busy with its own lunch, however, and couldn’t be bothered to pose.

The ice in my bike bottle was long melted, but lunch was still cool inside the cooler despite its hours in the sun. I’d packed only healthy food for this trip: crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, grapes, and carrots (cleverly disguised as a candy bar).

Full disclosure: This variety of carrot is the main reason I go on these rides. They’re packed with Vitamin S.

Full disclosure 2:  Magellan Promotions is a promotional products company owned by a friend. The cooler is by far the most useful swag I have ever received, although the Ecostone coasters he gave out a few years ago run a close second.

© 2010 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

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23 Responses to Biking for Carrots

  1. Anne, thanks for sharing these photos—just beautiful. Hmm, I had carrots with my lunch today, but my carrots didn’t look like yours. Mine were the orange kind. I think I like yours better.


  2. Pat Safavi says:

    A ride like that is so what I wanted to be doing yesterday. Bring your phone next time and perhaps I can meet you at the bottom of the big hill.


  3. Anne M Leone says:

    Ohhh, looks lovely! Makes me think I need to get out on a long ride myself.


  4. Michele says:

    So Queen’s Anne Lace is your fave flower? I love it too since I can identify it thanks to Girl Scout Camp days 🙂 Great pics of our area and fun posting too. Great to get outdoors when it less than 85 degrees this summer!!!


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Hi, Michele! I’m honored you’re taking the time to read my blog instead of focusing on those lesson plans (or packing!) Or am I contributing to the time-honored Dance of Procrastination? To answer your question, yes, I was referring to Queen Anne’s lace, which is a favorite for reasons of how pretty it looks, and its name, of course.


  5. Ann Maher says:

    P.S. I love that kind of carrot.


  6. Ann Maher says:

    You WERE in my neighborhood. I wouldn’t visit me if it meant riding up that hill. In fact, I think it is why I don’t ride my bike unless Pat comes and puts it on her bike rack and takes me to a “rails to trails” bike trail. Husband was right. We should move to a place where there are NO hills that prevent our bicycling friends from visiting. Love the blog entry and the photos!


  7. What a nice set of pictures, Anne. Looking at the picture of the area East of Mayfair Road and your comment the “In a year it should look like it’s always been here,” gave a moment to recollect to my childhood in 1930s and 1940s.

    Then the area was completely wooded (we called it “Eggie’s Woods”) and we used to bike out there and swim in the lagoon which was located about at the spot where your picture was taken.

    We rarely brought our swim suits along, so I guess we did some “skinny-dipping.”


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Hi, Ken! Thanks for stopping by. Great story! Was the swimming hole part of Underwood Creek or a free-standing pond? And who was Eggie?


      • It was a pretty good sized pond, complete with polliwogs and weeds, and I don’t recall if it was part of Underwood Creek. I have no idea who “Eggie” was, or why we called it that. It may even have been “Aggie.”

        I was 11 – 13 years old then, and that was about 70 years ago. The woods itself had a campsite which our Boy Scout troop used for overnight camping. It was really “out in the country then,” since HWY 100 was an old-fashioned 3 lane highway and North Ave., became a “country road” just west of Hwy 100.

        Let’s hope my memory isn’t too foggy, but that’s what I remember.


  8. Thanks for posting all these wonderful pictures and letting us bike along with you. I really enjoyed myself. Love those special carrots!


  9. MaryWitzl says:

    I like your husband’s comment about your friends. One of my least favorite things in the whole world is cycling uphill.

    Twelve miles and your thighs don’t ache? I’ll have to try third gear too!


  10. Carol says:

    Okay, slowly but surely I’m making my way into the 21st century. This is the first blog I’ve ever read. Your writing skills are still intact, I see. I loved your descriptions, your playfulness and sense of humor (especially about the special “carrots” in their clever disguise ~ and the fact that they are chock-full of that recently-discovered, but all-important, Vitamin S) and the pictures of the scenery along your bike ride. But most of all, I finally get to see what you look like! (In some ways, I do miss those Customer Services days and the contact and phone relationships I had with people all over the country. I don’t miss the deadlines and the MIA evaluators, though.)


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Carol, welcome to 2010. It was such a nice surprise to hear from you! I am honored to be your first blog experience! Congratulations on figuring out how to comment, too! (Bloggers love comments!) You also can see what I look like by visiting, or at least, what I looked like when the photo was taken {note to self: must update photo one of these years} {also must update website} If you click on the button under ‘Subscribe Here’ in the sidebar, you can sign up to be notified of new posts by email. Then it’s just a matter of clicking the link in the email to access the blog. Nobody sees your email address but me, so you won’t get any more spam than you do already, and I don’t post that often to be a bother (I hope…)


  11. Carol says:

    Did that (and read all your info from your biography to how you work, where you’re published, etc). but couldn’t find the “Subscribe Here” sidebar anywhere. Back to the 20th century for me!!!


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Carol, I think you were looking at my website, which is a whole different animal from the blog! On the blog, the sidebar is the right column on the main page. In the most recent entry (October 11 — yikes; must post something else….) the “Subscribe Here” box comes about halfway down in the first photo. If you’re on a laptop, you might have to scroll down a screen to see it. Also, you have to be in the blog itself, not reading the entries on Google Reader or another blog aggregator.


  12. This is lovely. Thanks for the picture of you, too! Thinking of you and how we met – news of Wisconsin union busting has something to do with that. Also, we were without power for a couple of days due to snow and multiple downed power poles. Our trees aren’t used to heavy snow. They just bent over and snapped, taking power/cable/telephone lines with them. Fortunately, we have a wood stove to keep us warm and propane stove to cook on. We played a lot of Mexican train dominoes! Proud of your son’s manuscript! Wow. My news is that I’m going to be a grandmother for the second time. Tim and Michelle and almost-two-year-old Sean Norton Coffey visited Saturday and Sunday after the snow storm. Very happy news. How are you? Greetings to Jim!


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